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Windows 7: Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

03 Feb 2015   #250

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Sorry, the info at the top of the tutorials below can give you more information about GPT and MBR to help.Basically, you don't need to use GPT unless you are going to have partitions over 2TB in size on the drive.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #251

Win 7 x64

Thanks! And there is no difference which one of the 2 we use speed-wise, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #252

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Correct. No difference for performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2015   #253

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
More advice required re Portable Hard Drives

Hi Brink, a very useful tutorial. However, I believe that it could do with just a little more advice on the end for what to do with a portable hard drive in order to make it usable again after doing a 'clean all'.

I followed your instructions in order to wipe a portable hard drive prior to possible sale. It worked fine although it did take a while. However, I struggled to get it to be recognised again in a computer afterwards. That may be down to my lack of knowledge of partitions and volumes but I'm sure that other readers may be in the same boat. As it was a portable hard drive, I suspected that I did not want a new partition as I thought that they were only used to separate areas on a single device. The "How to Create a New Partition or Volume in Windows 7" tutorial seemed, on glimpsing through, to concentrate on creating partitions. Perhaps a few wise words on having to create a new volume (or, at least, that is what I assume has to be done) may be in order?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Feb 2015   #254

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BorderReiver View Post
As it was a portable hard drive, I suspected that I did not want a new partition as I thought that they were only used to separate areas on a single device.
A hard drive, portable or not, has to have at least one partition to be usable.

If you purchase a new hard drive, it typically will not have ANY partitions. You'd need to create at least one. It would then have to be formatted in order to accept files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #255


Does both Clean and Clean All rewrite the MBR section? Or just the Clean All?

I've done DOD 3 pass wipe on external HDD, and thought it would overwrite the ENTIRE disc. But looks like it doesn't touch the MBR as it doesn't ask you to set the MBR afterwards.

Whereas using the Clean or Clean will cause it to ask you to setup the MBR.

I have some spare hard drives that I put a cloned copy of the OS on. Use them to download questionable things in case they contain viruses or malware. So every so often I do a DOD 3 pass wipe to clean the drive. So I would also need to clean the MBR section as well in case a virus got in there.

Looking around I read of it being suggested to do something like a Clean or Clean All first, then do your wipe, then reformat it, then install the OS to do a clean wipe of any viruses that may be on there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #256

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Jason,

Yes, both the "Clean" and "Clean All" commands will completely wipe the drive along with how it's formatted until it's just unallocated.

I would recommend to use the "Clean" command since it's faster. The only difference is that "Clean All" does a secure erase that takes much longer to finish. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #257


Does "Clean" write over the boot sector then rewrite the boot sector when you select "MBR"?

I'm guessing the software that lets you clean a drive, i.e. DOD 3 pass wipe don't touch the boot sector. As after doing that, it doesn't ask you to select MBR or GPT. I only got it to ask that after doing the Clean or Clean All.

So I guess what I'll do if I need to clean a drive for any viruses. Is first do a Clean and reset it to MBR. Which I guess rewrites the boot sector. Then do my DOD 3 pass wipe or single pass wipe. Then do the LONG format, then load the cloned image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #258

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Clean will only mark the entire drive as deleted to make it unallocated. This will wipe everything on the drive.

If this drive is for Windows, then you could just select the unallocated disk to install Windows on, and allow the installation to format and setup the disk with MBR.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #259


How would you recommend removing any traces of viruses from an external hard drive? Clean, then set to MBR. Then do say a full pass erase. Then install the cloned image or install from the factory disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

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